Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

human909
Posts: 9123
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:48 am

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 11:06 am

This is begging for Image.

Children get up to all sorts of things which have risks of injury. Should we have big helmets for AFL and Rugby? (Oh an BTW the yanks tried adding helmets to their version of football and what do you know helmets INCREASED head related injuries due to risk compensation. )

Come out to the cliff faces during school holidays and see young children rock climbing. No MHLs needed.

fat and old
Posts: 3752
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:06 pm
Location: Mill Park

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:04 pm

:lol: :lol: Calm yourselves and remember I'm just the messenger; I don't have any skin in the game.

I raised this a while ago with Thoglette; and i'm maybe not convinced, but leaning strongly towards the idea that MHL's were born from inquiries that had children as a centrepiece. Thus the comment "Children don't do these things". I don't have the time to supply all of the inquiry notes and citations atm, but have printed and stored a lot and will return to it later on. Basically, my assertion is that MHL's were introduced using children as a prime (quite possibly emotive) supporting argument based on the inquiries that I've seen to date, all of which predate and supply the basis for MHL's.


Obviously this is my own POV, and I'm just a dumb labourer but the evidence is compelling to me.

User avatar
Thoglette
Posts: 4361
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:01 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Thoglette » Thu Nov 08, 2018 4:53 pm

fat and old wrote:Basically, my assertion is that MHL's were introduced using children as a prime (quite possibly emotive) supporting argument based on the inquiries that I've seen to date, all of which predate and supply the basis for MHL's.


Agreed. The problem is that the "think of the children" arguments were as fallacious then as they are now. That is, they were emotive arguments based on, well, vapourware.

I'll leave the appropriate riposte to Peter Flax of Cycling Tips, who wrote this week about why he stopped wearing a helmet (he has a legal choice)

Peter Flax wrote:... why do the countries with the highest rates of helmet use also have the highest fatality rates among cyclists? Riders in the United States wear helmets more than anywhere else and yet get killed more frequently than in any other Western nation. In fact, in countries like Denmark and Netherland, where the fewest riders strap on helmets, fatal crashes are incredibly infrequent.

If that inverse relationship seems surprising, let me break it down for you: Having quality infrastructure and a culture that respects safety will impact exponentially more lives than insisting that riders wear helmets.


Peter Flax wrote:If helmets are lifesavers, how come Dutch riders who wear one get hospitalized more than cyclists who don’t? According to data from the Dutch government, yclists there who wear a lid are roughly 20 times more likely to get hospitalized than riders who don’t.


The whole article is pretty well thought through. Although, unlike him, I'd continue to wear my helmet where it makes sense to do so.
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

fat and old
Posts: 3752
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:06 pm
Location: Mill Park

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:24 pm

Thoglette wrote:
fat and old wrote:Basically, my assertion is that MHL's were introduced using children as a prime (quite possibly emotive) supporting argument based on the inquiries that I've seen to date, all of which predate and supply the basis for MHL's.


Agreed.


As I agree with the rest of your post. I'll just put the salient point in so I'm not accused of ignoring it...

The problem is that the "think of the children" arguments were as fallacious then as they are now. That is, they were emotive arguments based on, well, vapourware.



It's not the point though, is it? The question is WHY do we see MHL's for cycles, scooters etc. and not for driving, handyman work, ladders etc etc etc. No gov is stupid enough to attempt to tell an adult to do something like that and expect to be re-elected. The assumption is that as an adult we can make an informed decision on how to look after ourselves. A child cannot, at least without supervision. Since that child can jump on a bike and ride along any main road he/she wants without supervision they need all the help they can get. A helmet's not much, but it's better than nothing, or not being allowed to use those roads.

human909
Posts: 9123
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:48 am

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:43 pm

I think the point is that MHL are not better than nothing. Even for children.

User avatar
Thoglette
Posts: 4361
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:01 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Thoglette » Thu Nov 08, 2018 7:50 pm

fat and old wrote:It's not the point though, is it? The question is WHY do we see MHL's for cycles, scooters etc. and not for driving, handyman work, ladders etc etc etc. No gov is stupid enough to attempt to tell an adult to do something like that and expect to be re-elected. The assumption is that as an adult we can make an informed decision on how to look after ourselves. A child cannot, at least without supervision. Since that child can jump on a bike and ride along any main road he/she wants without supervision they need all the help they can get. A helmet's not much, but it's better than nothing, or not being allowed to use those roads.


It's a very good question. But (being old) I rode as a child without "needing" any protection: no one considered cycling any more dangerous than walking.

A major part of the MHL push was to make cycling appear dangerous and that something needed to be done.

Which, in the spirit of of the times, was swinging with the pendulum. That is, a lot of genuine dangers were being highlighted and addressed (DUI, smoking, asbestos, drunk pilots & surgeons) and much progress being made (e.g. universal sufferage; free healthcare and free education).

A couple of shonky ones slipped through too.
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

fat and old
Posts: 3752
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:06 pm
Location: Mill Park

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:07 am

Thoglette wrote:A major part of the MHL push was to make cycling appear dangerous and that something needed to be done.

Which, in the spirit of of the times, was swinging with the pendulum. That is, a lot of genuine dangers were being highlighted and addressed (DUI, smoking, asbestos, drunk pilots & surgeons) and much progress being made (e.g. universal sufferage; free healthcare and free education).

A couple of shonky ones slipped through too.


Its Time!! :lol:

I can accept that manufacturers...or at least some of them...would have vested interests and push for a new non optional market. Evidence for this is pretty conclusive. What was in it for other groups....the oft bagged surgeons and government bodies? Maybe the Gov bodies saw votes, but the surgeons? Vanity?

fat and old
Posts: 3752
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:06 pm
Location: Mill Park

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:55 am

Why I believe that cycling was looked at as a child's activity.

VICTORIAN TRANSPORT STUDY REPORT ON BICYCLES 1980

Summary

Bicycles as a significant means of personal transport have been around for more than a century. In the post World War 2 period their use has been somewhat overshadowed by the rapid evolution of the multi car household, the widespread development of the school bus system for transport of children to and from schools, and the low cost use of public transport systems by school children through concession fares and subsidies.

The use of bicycles now seems to be going through a phase of revival, and more of them are being seen on the roads, particularly in suburban area , as the younger generation realises the advantages of this flexible form of personal transport and as the r parents recognise the economic and physical benefits of bicycle ownership

The Future role of the bicycle in transportation, particularly in the young teenage section of the population, seems assured. While serious consideration of the bicycle in the context of a Transport Study in 1980 might be queried by some, the fact is that many people give thought to, and make use of this means of transport.

Introduction

1.1 In recent years, increasing attention has been given to the bicycle as a means of transport, and at the same ime there has been a substantial increase in bicycle sales. Between 1966 and 1976 bicycle sales in Victoria increased by 600 percent, and currently there are about 130,000 bicycles sold each year. It is estimated that there are now about 700,000 bicycles in Melbourne alone, of which up to two-thirds are ridden regularly.

1.2 Data on bicycle usage is limited. However, surveys in the Geelong area indicate that 77 percent of bike owners and 90 percent of regular bicycle users are students. figures for Melbourne and other urban areas in the State could be expected to be of a similar order.

1.3 The current trend is for an increasing number of adults to own and ride bicycles. This trend can be expected to continue in the foreseeable future, although the number of bicycle trips per day by adults is always likely to remain a very small percentage of the total daily trips by adults using all forms of transport

1.4 As the use of the bicycle has increased there has been an increase in accidents involving bicycles. In 1975, 605 cyclists were involved in injury accidents, including 16 killed. In 1979 the comparable figures were 950 and 43. A cyclist involved in an accident has a 4 times greater chance of being killed, and a 4.5 times greater chance of being injured, than a motorist. Also, studies by the Road Safety and Traffic Authority indicate that in Victoria 2/3 of bicycle accidents can be attributed to the fault of the cyclist. 72 percent of bicycle accidents occur in the 7 to 17 years age group, while 33 percent of them are in the 12 to 14 years age group.

1.5 Because of the increasing sales and use of the bicycle and because of concern about the number and severity of accidents involving cyclists, it is important that proper provision be made for the bicycle to ensure that it is a safe means of travel.



Submissions


2.6 The submission from the Country Roads Board (Now called Vic Roads) contains a section on bicycles. It says that bicycles are part of the transport system, and that provision should be made for them. It indicates that the majority of bicycle owners and riders are students, and that while the contribution of bicycles to urban commuter travel is increasing, it is still small and likely to always remain so. The Board's submission concludes that the bicycle serves a useful role in providing individual services to that section of the community with relatively few other transport options.

Discussion

7.1 The Study Group recognises that the bicycle is, and will continue to be a significant mode of transport, particularly for school children and students, and other young people. It also recognises that appropriate consideration should be given to the provision for bicycles in transport planning, and when transport facilities are being designed.

Conclusions and Recommendations

8.1 The bicycle is, and will continue to be a significant mode of transport, particularly for school children and students, and other young people in the community.

https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/paper ... 81No45.pdf

There's obviously more in that report, I have only highlited what supports my assertion. Cycling was seen as something predominately for the young.

The Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia
BICYCLE HELMET SAFETY
Final Report on the Motorcycle and Bicycle Helmet Safety Inquiry
Report of the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Transport Safety
November 1985

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF BICYCLE HELMETS

The effectiveness of helmets in reducing head injuries in crashes has been confirmed by recent studies and the growing number of cyclists wearing helmets attests to their popularity and the public's desire for safer cycling. Yeah, thanks mate!


Bicycle accident research

15. Research in Australia and overseas over the last 20 years has continued to highlight the extremely high incidence of head injuries amongst cyclists involved in accidents. The first study of this phenomenon was undertaken in Australia and showed that of 181 bicycle fatalities in Brisbane from 1935 to 1964, 80 per cent showed brain damage, with 71 per cent having associated skull fractures.3

16. Subsequent studies have confirmed figures of this order with a recent study of bicycle fatalities for children under 15 years in Queensland indicating that 77 per cent died of head injuries, 13 per cent of multiple trauma which did not include head injuries and 10 per cent of spinal fractures involving the neck. Other research has shown that head injuries occur in approximately 80 per cent of fatalities.

17. A study based on head injuries treated in the Royal Childrens Hospital in Brisbane between 1956-1978 pointed out that any further improvement in mortality rates in childhood head injuries lies in "prevention or increased protection rather than in increased sophistication of surgical techniques".

21. In evidence, the Federal Office of Road Safety summarised these statistics by estimating that 70 per cent of all bicycle casualties involve children aged seven to seventeen years of age.8 Children in this age group made up only 18.4 per cent of the population in 19
Recommendations

22. The dramatic over-representation of young cyclists is even more disturbing when it is remembered that many injuries go unreported.

Helmet usage rates

42. In the general community, helmet wearing rates vary widely but generally appear to be extremely low. Figures in the order of 2-5 per cent are generally accepted by researchers. The Federal Office of Road Safety estimates that the highest estimate for overall usage, across Australia, would be less than ten per cent. The Committee heard evidence that recent helmet campaigns have raised usage rates dramatically (See Table 2). The Committee also heard that the helmet usage rate amongst adult commuters in Canberra and Melbourne was as high as 50 per cent

45. An understanding of the usage rates of bicycle helmet wearing is essential if effective programs are to be developed to educate and encourage cyclists to wear helmets. Education and publicity programs need to be carefully targeted to ensure that particular bicycle user groups are reached to increase their use of helmets. Peer group pressure amongst older children is a major obstacle to widespread helmet use. The Committee heard of instances where children who wear helmets have been called 'sissy' or 'egghead' by their friends. This negative pressure is occurring at ages where peer group pressure to conform is strongest. Peer group pressure may be turned to advantage if sufficient numbers can be persuaded to wear helmets and there is pressure on others to follow. Overcoming this reluctance to helmet usage by children and young teenagers should be a major objective of education and publicity campaigns. The Victorian Government has directed their education campaigns predominantly to the parents of primary school children. It is of great concern to the Committee that the highest risk group of cyclists, the under 17 year olds, has the lowest usage rates.

The Committee recommends that:
1. (a) the Minister for Transport, through the Federal Office of Road Safety take steps to publicise widely helmet bulk-purchasing programs and to coordinate a national program by encouraging schools, manufacturers and retailers to work closely together to ensure all Australian schools have the opportunity to participate; and
(b) the Minister for Education facilitate the operation of school-based bulk purchase schemes for bicycle helmets in the Australian Capital Territory along the lines of the Victorian scheme. (Paragraph 58)

2. the Ministers for Education and Transport seek the cooperation of their State and Territory counterparts to encourage all schools to introduce the 'compulsory' wearing of helmets by children cycling to and from school. (Paragraph 65)

3. the Minister for Transport seek the cooperation of the States and Territories through the Australian Transport Advisory Council to;
(a) develop effective programs to promote bicycle helmet usage, utilising where possible effective material already developed; and
(b) provide suitable funding for the development of these programs and materials. (Paragraph 71)

4. the Minister for Transport and the Special Minister of State in conjunction with their State counterparts;
(a) investigate more effective enforcement techniques to ensure cyclists, particularly children, follow the traffic code; and
(b) introduce a more innovative cycling traffic code. (Paragraph 85)

https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Bu ... _pp360.pdf Thanks Bruce for the link


There's obviously heaps more there. And a few more reports that are not linked. But it's pretty straight forward in understanding what these inquiries were focussing on. As for adults, well, A.O. Neville's practice of breeding out the black was applied. If that didn't work, the rest were collateral damage; a minority that would have to suck it up for the greater good.

Scintilla
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:36 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Scintilla » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:49 am

fat and old wrote:What was in it for other groups....the oft bagged surgeons and government bodies? Maybe the Gov bodies saw votes, but the surgeons? Vanity?

The 'medico-legal road-safety cabal' were right at the core of the push for mandated helmet laws.

RACS, RoSTA, RACV, MUARC, even the VACC were all part of the push from the early 1980s through into the '90s.

(RACS - Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, RoSTA - Road Safety and Traffic Authority, RACV we all know, MUARC - Monash University Accident Reseacrh Council)

Government 'safety' bodies had a malignant view about bicycle riding as an inherently *dangerous* pursuit, and helmets were viewed as an easy fix. No understanding existed of the impact helmets would make on use by many people (non-enthusiast riders). The medical profession, particularly the surgeons were too close to the coal-face of serious injuries and could not or would not look at the bigger picture of health and real risks to life and welfare. Doctors and surgeons in the 70s and 80s really did not lower themselves to ride something as demeaning as a *bicycle*. These riders just got in the way of the surgeons' Mercs, Beemers, and Volvos on their commute home to Brighton and Glen Iris.

*A bit biased I know, but really the medical profession showed no awareness nor care for the idea of bicycles as meaningful transport back in the 80s. Things are slightly better today, but very many medicos still cannot accept that the law is an ass.
Last edited by Scintilla on Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Scintilla
Posts: 301
Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:36 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Scintilla » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:58 am

fat and old wrote:Why I believe that cycling was looked at as a child's activity.

VICTORIAN TRANSPORT STUDY REPORT ON BICYCLES 1980

......1.2 Data on bicycle usage is limited. However, surveys in the Geelong area indicate that 77 percent of bike owners and 90 percent of regular bicycle users are students. figures for Melbourne and other urban areas in the State could be expected to be of a similar order.

A further indication of the core problem of car-centric mindset. And these regular users were not given serious consideration at all. Where I was working in 1990 I did the count; I talked with the students (teenagers). The numbers of bikes in the school bike-sheds fell, within 3 months, from about 200-250 to just 19. This remained thus for many years and never recovered in any meaningful way. The reasons, clearly stated to me by my students were a variety of valid aspects to do with buying, storing, and using helmets.

The concerns that were stated by Alan A. Parker of Bicycle Victoria at the time were about the police not enforcing this law, which was of less value for real bicycle safety than the other poorly-enforced law - use of bicycle lights at night. Sadly the police enforcement was all-too easy to pursue, and applied in a punitive and discriminatory manner. BTW, Alan A. Parker was a helmet-wearer for many years, but by choice. And he NEVER wore any lycra.

human909
Posts: 9123
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:48 am

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 12:59 pm

The Future role of the bicycle in transportation, particularly in the young teenage section of the population, seems assured.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

The irony in this statement is laughable. When the same people making that statement pushed for the very thing that would render it inaccurate.

human909
Posts: 9123
Joined: Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:48 am

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby human909 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:02 pm

Scintilla wrote:Where I was working in 1990 I did the count; I talked with the students (teenagers). The numbers of bikes in the school bike-sheds fell, within 3 months, from about 200-250 to just 19. This remained thus for many years and never recovered in any meaningful way.


il Padrone, (who no longer seems to post on BNA forums) observed exactly the same thing as school teacher.

fat and old
Posts: 3752
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:06 pm
Location: Mill Park

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:42 pm

human909 wrote:
Scintilla wrote:Where I was working in 1990 I did the count; I talked with the students (teenagers). The numbers of bikes in the school bike-sheds fell, within 3 months, from about 200-250 to just 19. This remained thus for many years and never recovered in any meaningful way.


il Padrone, (who no longer seems to post on BNA forums) observed exactly the same thing as school teacher.


Anecdote. IP would call out such things as anecdote. Quite correctly too. But that doesn’t really lead to meaningful discussion does it? :)

fat and old
Posts: 3752
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:06 pm
Location: Mill Park

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:01 pm

Scintilla wrote:
fat and old wrote:Why I believe that cycling was looked at as a child's activity.

VICTORIAN TRANSPORT STUDY REPORT ON BICYCLES 1980

......1.2 Data on bicycle usage is limited. However, surveys in the Geelong area indicate that 77 percent of bike owners and 90 percent of regular bicycle users are students. figures for Melbourne and other urban areas in the State could be expected to be of a similar order.

A further indication of the core problem of car-centric mindset. And these regular users were not given serious consideration at all.


That dovetails with my assertions. Teens were expected on the evidence presented to graduate to motor vehicles as soon as they could. Which wasn’t an unreasonable viewpoint at that time. I gained my M/C license in 1980 and I can guarantee you that at my school no one....NO ONE.....was looking to keep the pushie past 17 as their prime transport. There was one bike in the racks prior. Mine. In the junior school (yr 7-10) there would have been <10. School location didn’t help tbh, and there was very good PT. This was in Preston.

I mentioned a while ago that I was down Brighton way last autumn, and saw literally dozens of kids (teens) riding to school. The school was in a rotten spot for traffic too, difference was a good shared path along the Nepean close by and very good cycle lanes in every large road in the area. And bad PT.

User avatar
Thoglette
Posts: 4361
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:01 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Thoglette » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:21 pm

fat and old wrote:
human909 wrote:
Scintilla wrote:Where I was working in 1990 I did the count; I talked with the students (teenagers). The numbers of bikes in the school bike-sheds fell, within 3 months, from about 200-250 to just 19. This remained thus for many years and never recovered in any meaningful way.


il Padrone, (who no longer seems to post on BNA forums) observed exactly the same thing as school teacher.


Anecdote. IP would call out such things as anecdote. Quite correctly too. But that doesn’t really lead to meaningful discussion does it? :)

I'm not the IP but I'll play the anecdote card pretty quickly when provoked :-)

I am also fan of Prof K Charmaz and have utilised grounded theory in my research. A key component of which is identifying and coding recurrent themes. Repeated first person anecdotes (not FOFOF) are very rich seams of material from which patterns and then theories may be developed.

In short, we wouldn't be having this discussion at all, except that a bunch of people started talking about their experiences and observations. And how they didn't match the Official Theory handed down by the Victorian College of Surgeons.
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

fat and old
Posts: 3752
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:06 pm
Location: Mill Park

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Fri Nov 09, 2018 8:44 pm

You’re incorrect on the why. I don’t give a hoot about the VCS or anyone else and their stats, figures or theories. I don’t need to be “right”. I’m having the discussion because I’m an adult, and I don’t want to be told what to do unless I’m impacting on someone else’s quality of life.

User avatar
antigee
Posts: 560
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:58 am
Location: just off the Yarra Trail but not lurking in the bushes

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby antigee » Sun Nov 11, 2018 3:54 pm

Had been struggling to put into a usable context BicycleNetwork's recent statement:

"Australia’s mandatory helmet laws should be relaxed with a five-year trial permitting people older than 17 to choose whether they wear a helmet when riding on footpaths or off-road cycle paths.

With more than 80% of bike crashes caused by people driving vehicles, we still believe that not enough has been done to improve Australia’s on-road conditions. This is why we can’t support a full repeal of MHL and bring Australia into line with the rest of the world."


now I live in Victoria (BN's "home state") and riding on footpaths for adults is mostly illegal so it only really works for commuters or utility cyclists if footpath riding is permitted

whilst out riding today was surprised to find a "No Cycling" sign at the entrance to a park I had gone out of my way to take a look at.....then I was annoyed to find the path popped out into an area of what had been park and was now a carpark ....getting to the point - the people who would benefit most (the only people?) from BN's policy in Victoria are people who drive to parks and railtrails to ride and then drive home ... OK more people riding possibly but as the second part of the statement says doesn't do anything to address making cycling safer by making cycling on roads normal

a bit like BN's "contribution" to the Vic Parliamentary inquiry into Minimum Passing Distance Law does nothing to contribute positively in my opinion ... if you add no mandatory helmets on paths to riding on footpaths and only supporting MPD law because "members want it" then you end up with a policy direction which is pro cycling but not on roads

User avatar
DavidS
Posts: 2497
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:24 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby DavidS » Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:59 pm

fat and old wrote:Why I believe that cycling was looked at as a child's activity.

VICTORIAN TRANSPORT STUDY REPORT ON BICYCLES 1980



2.6 The submission from the Country Roads Board (Now called Vic Roads) contains a section on bicycles. It says that bicycles are part of the transport system, and that provision should be made for them. It indicates that the majority of bicycle owners and riders are students, and that while the contribution of bicycles to urban commuter travel is increasing, it is still small and likely to always remain so. The Board's submission concludes that the bicycle serves a useful role in providing individual services to that section of the community with relatively few other transport options.



Yeah well, unless you have few other travel options why would you ride a bike?

I know what they're saying, after all, I only have the option of a car, tram, train or bus to get to work - with so few options it is no wonder I ride a bike.

Very revealing attitude on the part of VicRoads, one which seems to have lasted decades.

Idiots, no wonder they support stupidity like Mandatory Helmet laws for cyclists only.

DS
Image

Cannondale Quick Speed 2, Allegro T1

tgreenfield
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:09 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby tgreenfield » Mon Nov 12, 2018 2:26 pm

Personally I think that those people who advocate for no helmets are all about their freedom and are not considering the general good.
I'd put them in the same category as those who drive vehicles without a licence or insurance, or perhaps the anti-vaxxers.
Cycle accidents are costly to the general community.

Perhaps they should first read this news story from 2016 from SBS:
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/report-proves-bike-helmets-the-difference-between-life-and-death

The report is by an Australian and covers 60,000 accidents world wide and was presented at an international convention.
It's conclusion was:
...found helmets reduce the chances of serious head injury in a crash by up to 70 per cent...

Fine if you don't want to wear a helmet, but don't ask me and the responsible people who do wear them to pick up your injury costs through the health system and/or be sympathetic.

User avatar
AUbicycles
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 13318
Joined: Tue Aug 23, 2005 2:14 am
Location: Sydney & Frankfurt
Contact:

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby AUbicycles » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:18 pm

welcome tgreenfield. You will get a lot of responses to your comments but I am certain that that when everyone keeps a respectful tone in the discussion - it can be enlightening.

I would like to touch on a few things without actually commenting on the pros or cons.

Categorising people and equating them to anti-vaxxers is a cheap shot, it is an opinion and significantly distracts from the argument.

With facts / reports - when you find anything to support helmets I guarantee that you will also find stats, facts and reputable studies against as well.

Regarding the cost - if a person is hit by a car, 80% of the time the car driver is at fault. Adjusting this to put fault on the bike rider and saying that they are a burden to society moves into the terrain often described as 'victim blaming'.

Usually the insurance would cover costs so if a bike rider is injured, it no one will be calling you and asking if you can pay the costs. That probably sounds like a silly scenario, but it is also on parr with your comments on society being asked to pick up the costs. Insurance will cover costs - and the insurance from the party at fault which is most likely to be the driver.

And an interesting cause and effect argument is that the environmental and physical health in society improves with cycling. Helmet laws genuinely dissuade some people from riding plus the governments promote helmets as their solution for cycling safety while ignoring genuine infrastructure improvements... and continuing to undermine the value that cycling can provide. This means as a society, on top of increasing congestion, the cost of inactivity on society is a real cost.


And a final comment - if helmets are critically important, why are Australia and New Zealand the only nations that enforce it. Surely all of those other nations can't be that stupid and backwards. Is Australia and New Zealand together the most advance and progressive nations in the world for transport safety?

To close this off, I recommend wearing a helmet but the priority for cycling safety should be on prevention... there is too much focus on helmets as a band-aide solution because the governments are not doing enough for cycling safety.

User avatar
Thoglette
Posts: 4361
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:01 pm

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Thoglette » Mon Nov 12, 2018 7:42 pm

It's probably a waste of electrons but here goes...

tgreenfield wrote:The report is by an Australian and covers 60,000 accidents world wide and was presented at an international convention.

Important bit highlighted. Dr Jake Olivier's long term work pushing for MHLs is well known, as are the truck-size holes it contains. (To be fair, he's now focusing on trying to work out why the real world disagrees with his models)

In particular, in the real world, we need to explain why the country with the highest helmet usage rate has the worst cyclist injury rate?Yet the one with the least helmet usage is one of the safest for cyclists?

The crux of this issue (and this thread) is that mandatory helmet laws (not helmets, helmet laws) do nothing to help cyclists injury rates. Ask the epidemiologists (e.g. Goldacre, B; Spiegelhalter, D (2013) DOI: 10.1136/bmj.f3817).

I'd also suggest that you do some homework on the relative health costs to the community of bicycle vs car usage, by any metric you care for. There's plenty of data out there (hint: transport cyclist head injuries are insignificant. )
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

User avatar
DavidS
Posts: 2497
Joined: Wed Sep 22, 2010 11:24 pm
Location: Melbourne

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby DavidS » Mon Nov 12, 2018 8:48 pm

tgreenfield wrote:Personally I think that those people who advocate for no helmets are all about their freedom and are not considering the general good.
I'd put them in the same category as those who drive vehicles without a licence or insurance, or perhaps the anti-vaxxers.
Cycle accidents are costly to the general community.

Perhaps they should first read this news story from 2016 from SBS:
https://www.sbs.com.au/news/report-proves-bike-helmets-the-difference-between-life-and-death

The report is by an Australian and covers 60,000 accidents world wide and was presented at an international convention.
It's conclusion was:
...found helmets reduce the chances of serious head injury in a crash by up to 70 per cent...

Fine if you don't want to wear a helmet, but don't ask me and the responsible people who do wear them to pick up your injury costs through the health system and/or be sympathetic.


The problem with your post is that it is based on an assumption that there is a public health benefit to helmet laws. This assumption is wrong, for some facts, as opposed to assumptions, read this: https://s23705.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Dr-Dorothy-L-Robinson_Helmets.pdf

Do you ride a bicycle?

Given that over 50% of head injuries suffered on the road are suffered by occupants of motor vehicles (despite seat belts, air bags and having a vehicle around you) I assume you support mandatory helmet laws for occupants of motor vehicles?

I agree with Thoglette, I suspect this will be a waste of electrons.

DS
Image

Cannondale Quick Speed 2, Allegro T1

fat and old
Posts: 3752
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:06 pm
Location: Mill Park

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:20 pm

Robinson cites Rissell in her submission. Fail

fat and old
Posts: 3752
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2014 12:06 pm
Location: Mill Park

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby fat and old » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:25 pm

Oh yeah,

tgreenfield wrote:Personally I think that those people who advocate for no helmets are all about their freedom and are not considering the general good.
I'd put them in the same category as those who drive vehicles without a licence or insurance, or perhaps the anti-vaxxers.


That would be me. Damn straight it’s about my freedom. Unlike you, who have decided that because I don’t agree with your point of view I deserve insults and a lack of health care, I personally don’t care that you want to wear a helmet, nor do I want to see you penalised for doing so.

Have a nice day :)

User avatar
Comedian
Posts: 5534
Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 7:35 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Mandatory Helmet Laws & stuff (MHL discussion)

Postby Comedian » Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:24 am

The more I'm involved with advocating for safety improvements for cyclists the more I realise it really is true.

It's hard getting safety improvements for cyclists. All the easy stuff is done, so it means taking road space away from people who own cars. This is not popular.

I've had politicians say "I know it's dangerous but we just can't take parking away from the florist - they will go broke. Taking parking away is off the table". You could see the anguish. She knew what she was doing was wrong but right at the same time on so many levels.

So you can really see the helmet law is a saviour to these people. Providing primary safety is hard - but mandating that cyclists wear PPE somewhat mitigates this. It means they don't have to do the hard things to make cyclists safe. And - if a car hits a cyclist and they aren't wearing a helmet then it's a free get out of jail for everyone!

I really do think that if she had lots of un-helmeted cyclists asking for a safe way to work then her decision would have been MUCH harder.

Return to “Cycling Safety and Advocacy”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users